The GuardianThe Guardian

Stop ‘wishcycling’ and get wise: How to recycle (almost) everything

By Emma Beddington

08 Feb 2023 · 10 min read

Editor's Note

Recycling isn't always as straightforward as it seems. The Guardian has put together an excellent guide on how to properly recycle the most perplexing items - which seem to throw everyone off.

I spend a lot of time – too much time – thinking about recycling and the main thing I think, over and over, is: it shouldn’t be this hard. Eighty per cent of UK households are “still unclear” about how to recycle effectively, according to research last year – and who can blame us?

Labelling often requires a doctorate in semiotics to decode, kerbside collections are a postcode lottery and council recycling centres are often difficult to access without a car. At home, packaging piles up – no one knows what to do with toothbrushes or the cat’s treat packages, and we’re squabbling over pizza boxes. All of it amounts to us collectively wondering whether recycling is ultimately pointless because it’s all going to end up in landfill in the developing world.

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